Trade Minister calls for business input into Export Strategy
Following extensive engagement with businesses across the country, Baroness Fairhead, Minister of State for Trade and Export Promotion, today issued a final call for businesses to come forward and input into the Government’s forthcoming Export Strategy. Issuing a final call for input from businesses today, the Baroness emphasised the importance of business driving the content of the Strategy, with the Department for International Trade estimating that more than 300,000 UK companies produce products that could be exported but currently have no overseas sales. Ministers have already conducted a series of roundtables with businesses of all sizes and across a number of sectors. These have been convened in conjunction with a number of key stakeholders, including BExA, the Federation of Small Business and the British Chambers of Commerce, to understand the barriers preventing companies from exporting.
The Minister also set out that the Export Strategy will build on the recent Industrial Strategy, as well as complement future British trade policy, by helping firms to increase their capacity to export their goods and services overseas. Businesses are being asked to reflect on the challenges they face that currently prevent them from exporting to foreign markets. They will also be asked about the specific needs of their sectors, as well as the current offer of support available to them.
Baroness Fairhead, Minister of State for Trade and Export Promotion, said: “Export support is a key way that the Government can help businesses succeed and grow. The aim of the Export Strategy is to provide assistance which is effective, high quality and timely, allowing companies to achieve sustainable growth on the world stage. “Building on the foundations laid by the Industrial Strategy and our future trade policy, I am confident that with the vital contribution of British businesses – we can help take UK exports to the next level.”
The latest figures from the Office of National Statistics show that demand for British goods and services rose to the end of January 2018. UK exports rose by 11.5% (£64.5bn) in the month window to £625.9bn, with the overall trade deficit narrowing by £12.8bn in the process.
The Minister is today travelling to Hong Kong for the GREAT Festival of Innovation which is showcasing the best of British creativity to potential partners and investors from around the world. From this week, British businesses of all sizes will also be able to showcase their products in front of millions of potential new customers as a new campaign launches between the Department for International Trade and some of Asia’s top e-commerce platforms and mobile shopping apps. Over 160 British brands will have their goods promoted across three China and Hong Kong based e-tailers – ttHigo, Goxip and MyMM. The Export Strategy is expected to report in the coming months.
The Terms of Reference are included in today’s announcement.